Bogota - Colombian
former Vuelta a Espana winner Luis "Lucho" Herrera said on Monday that he
contracted skin cancer as a result of his exposure to the sun during his
"The dermatologist found some spots with cancer," on his face, arms
and hands during an examination six years ago, the 56-year-old told
Colombia's Blu Radio.
"I'm feeling good, I'm well, but I'm taking great care of my arms and
my face," said Herrera, one of a generation of Colombian climbers that
emerged in the 1980s.
Herrera, the first Colombian to win one of the three major European
tours, said he had wanted to keep his condition out of the limelight. He
is undergoing treatment to prevent it worsening.
He said protecting the skin was never a priority during a race.
"Maybe at the time we didn't take precautions to apply sunblock
because there was no time, sometimes we were sweating a lot... said
Herrera, who won King of the Mountains jerseys in the Vuelta, the Giro
d'Italia and the Tour de France.
"He must follow a treatment for chronic sun damage so that the
lesions don't reappear," dermatologist Andres Luque told Colombian TV
programme Direct Witness at the weekend.
"Occasionally, he has cryotherapy sessions," to freeze the lesions, to stop the cancer becoming invasive, added the doctor.
Herrera won the Vuelta a Espana in 1987, the first South American to win a Grand Tour.